Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Confession Tuesday - Indignant Edition

It’s lunch time on Tuesday and I’m off to the confessional. Are you following me?

Dear Reader:

During my years of active involvement in the Democratic Party I was exposed to an elected official who often said we must never lose the capacity to be indignant. I think it was likely a paraphrasing of someone else’s remarks but I thought about it then and again these past few days. At the time I first heard it, I believed it to a wise axiom, for when we become complacent with actions that are reprehensible we do ourselves a disservice.

I do confess that I have become tired of the bitter and hateful discourse that has come to pollute our daily lives. And it would be easy to say that enough is enough! Lighten up a little. But this axiom has come back to me recently and I confess that in particular that I am incensed by the recent remarks by Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) about the oil spilling (still) in the gulf. It seems Representative Young believes (and I quote) "This is not an environmental disaster, and I will say that again and again because it is a natural phenomenon." Perhaps Rep. Young believes this but drilling a deep sea well from a platform in the Gulf and suddenly after an explosion, the gushing of some 39 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf (and counting) has nothing natural about it. It is not a part of nature.

I confess that I'm also incensed by a political ad run by Rick Barber, a candidate for Congress in Alabama’s second district. The ad is a representation of Barber ranting on the Internal Revenue Service, Health Care, etc., and shows an angry Barber pounding his point all the while a pistol lay beside him as he preaches to our founding fathers. In the end, we hear the rather threatening phrase "Gather your armies." Barber’s ad is incites insurrection. He too may be indignant. But I confess that even indignation must be tempered with responsibility. At a time when many openly carry firearms strapped to their side in plain sight, even as drinking their coffee at Starbucks, there is a responsibility that comes with our political system that asks of each of us the civility that makes peaceful political change a desirable end of our democracy.

I confess that I did not intend to sound preachy today, but I stand by everything I’ve said.

I also confess I will not preach next Tuesday. Unless I get indignant again. ;)

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